It was a night to remember for Western Sydney Wanderers FC and the perfect debut for the Hyundai A-League’s newest club.
A 5-0 victory over Nepean FC came in front of over 3,500 supporters. Four goals for triallist striker Joe Gibbs complemented a stylish midfield display from Qantas Young Socceroo Aaron Mooy in what was a highly satisfactory first outing for Wanderers FC Head Coach Tony Popovic’s growing squad.
Popovic started seven of his nine signed players with the uneven surface not proving too difficult for the Wanderers to gain early control of the match.
From the beginning Wanderers were on the front foot, Mooy pulling the strings from midfield while Labinot Haliti was in fine form up front netting one and hitting the cross bar three times in Wanderers FC’s first ever 45-minutes of football.
Labinot Haliti found an enemy in the crossbar, denying the attacker on three separate occasions in the first half. But on 43 minutes Haliti couldn’t be denied on his fourth clean attempt volleying in a Mark Bridge cross from the right.
A nearly full change to the roster at halftime saw a full complement of trialling players take to the field with striker Joe Gibbs scoring four times in the Clubs’ first outing.
Nepean FC, who were valiant throughout, struggled to deal with the fast moving play and distribution of the Wanderers FC midfield.
And with over a dozen players looking to secure a contract with the Club on show, Popovic was left with much to ponder.
It was Gibbs and young winger Zac Elrich who took the most advantage in the second half, with Gibbs scoring two headers and a pair of close range efforts all off the lead-up play of Elrich.
“I’m buzzing. I’m very happy with tonight’s performance, it was a great atmosphere and a fantastic turnout – I think it showed a lot of the players what they have become a part of,” said Popovic.
“I’m pleased with how we played in our first outing and all the players on trial acquitted themselves well.
“We’ll look over the match and training over the coming days to identify our next signings but as I said I am very happy with the result.”
Western Sydney Wanderers’ next trial match will be against Blacktown Spartans at Blacktown International Sportspark on Wednesday, August 1.